Have you ever thought of a genius idea only to Google it and find out that your idea already exists?
Matt Kraiss, head chef at Ermanos Craft Beer & Wine Bar, knows that feeling.
Ermanos has a select dessert menu including Beer-Amisu — a tiramisu with beer instead of the traditional coffee or rum.
“I’m kind of a believer of collective consciousness,” Kraiss said. “I came up with the Beer-Amisu completely on my own, and then found it on the internet a week later.”
“I think it’s something that beer lovers make in their homes. I’ve never seen it on a menu anywhere,” he added.
Ermanos is classified as a gastropub, which means the restaurant offers an extensive selection of craft beer and wine alongside high quality food. When Ermanos revamped their menu in March 2016, they set a goal — to integrate craft beer into 40% of their menu items.
“As head chef, I try to make things creative by using beer instead of whatever else you’d typically use,” Kraiss said. The Beer-Amisu was one way of doing just that.
As Kraiss said, “It was just a solid, hole-in-one, home run.” It might not come as a surprise that tiramisu is one of Kraiss’ favorite desserts.
“We came up with the recipe and started messing around with it,” he said. “Our twist was to use Achocolypse from Prescott Brewing Company and Imperial Stout, so there’s multiple layers of beer in there. Instantly, everyone thought [the Beer-Amisu] was incredible.”
To make the Beer-Amisu, Kraiss first sets the mascarpone to room temperature, reduces the Achocolypse, and folds it into the mascarpone cream. Then, whipped cream is mixed in to make a cream base.
After that, the lady fingers are soaked in beer rather than traditional coffee or rum.
“We soak the lady fingers in whatever we have on draft, so it’s constantly changing,” Kraiss said. “Our prep cook did one with a Chai Imperial Stout a couple weeks ago and it was, hands down, my favorite that we’ve made so far.”
After the lady fingers are finished, all of the ingredients are layered together. The restaurant then tops the dessert with cocoa and chocolate pearls for an extra crunch.
“It’s an extremely decadent dessert,” Kraiss said.
As of now, the Ermanos menu only offers two desserts — the Beer-Amisu and the Apple Crisp a la Mode, which is made of baked Granny Smith apple slices, streusel, ice cream, and beer syrup.
The apple crisp has been on the menu since the restaurant opened, but the Beer-Amisu made its first appearance on their most recent winter menu.
“We’re constantly doing research and development on expanding our menu to give a better experience to everyone who comes in,” Kraiss said. “We aim for seasonal menus. As we go into summer, we’ll do something a little bit lighter with summer fruits or something like that.” Last summer, Ermanos featured a beer brownie with whipped cream, shaved chocolate, and sangria-soaked strawberries.
But if you’re worried about the Beer-Amisu being taken off the menu, take a breath. Kraiss says that due to its popularity, the Beer-Amisu might stay during their next menu change.
Only time will tell, but make sure to try the Beer-Amisu while you still can… it’s delicious!
Ermanos Craft Beer & Wine Bar
220 N. 4th Ave.
Tucson, AZ 85705
Dessert in the Desert is a new series highlighting desserts in Tucson. The main courses at restaurants get all the rage, as they should, but what about desserts? They deserve a spotlight, too.